Budget of a tourist to Ukraine. Do I need to exchange money for Ukrainian currency when traveling to Kiev?
21 years ago Ukraine underwent monetary reform and the country started to use the Ukrainian currency we still use today. It did not become something fundamentally new for Ukrainians: the hryvnia has been a part of our people’s lives throughout the history.
History of Hryvnia (Ukrainian currency)
XI-XIV centuries. The first real hryvnia, used as money (they appeared in the era of the Kievan Rus), little resembled traditional coins; these were oblong ingots, mostly made of silver, sometimes of gold.
According to one version of the historians, the name “hryvnia” came from the decoration worn by our ancestors in the VIII-IX centuries. It was a cast hoop of silver or gold, fixed on the nape.
1917. The Central Rada established the State Ukrainian Bank, the authorities decided to issue their own money. At first, these were notes of 100 karbovanets that were printed in Kiev. The banknotes were without protection and watermarks. The sketch was developed by the famous artist Georgiy Narbut, who used ornaments in the style of Ukrainian baroque. People also called karbovanets “Jewish money”: the inscription on the notes was in four languages (Ukrainian, Russian, Polish and Yiddish).
1918. The Central Rada adopted a law on the hryvnia as the main monetary unit of the UPR. It was printed in Germany. The image for the vast majority of bills was drawn by already mentioned G. Narbut. After Hetman Skoropadsky came to power, the issue of hryvnia continued. It is interesting that in this moment there were banknotes of a large denomination, which indicated a rapid inflation.
1918-1919. Small token was the stamps, the so-called “shagi”. One hryvnia equaled 100 shagi.
The latter were printed on very light thin paper; they were small. Layıng on any surface, bills flew from the slightest breeze of the wind that ıs why people started callıng them “butterflıes”.
1992. After Ukraine gained independence, they began talking about the national currency. The authorities decided to revive the hryvnia to emphasize the “currency” continuity since the times of Kievan Rus and the liberation movement of 1917-1918. Since at that time there were no experience of producing money in our country, the first hryvnia was made in Canada and Malta. By October 1992, money had already been delivered. However, they turned into a turnover only four years later.
1992-1996. Instead of a permanent bill, a temporary appeared – Ukrainian karbovanets. It rapidly depreciated, and by the end of its existence, there were banknotes with a face value of 200 thousand and even 1 million. It took the brunt of the financial and economic crisis and galloping inflation and fulfilled its main mission: played the role of the national currency in the transition period, protected the domestic consumer and allowed the country to avoid a payment crisis. Financiers call the coupon period the first stage of the monetary reform.
September 2-16, 1996. For two weeks, the hryvnia has smoothly entered into its rights. Everywhere, the exchange of Karbovanets for a new currency at the rate of one hryvnia to 100,000 coupons was made. On September 16, the coupons (karbovanets) were completely withdrawn from circulation. Experts consider money reform in Ukraine to be the most humane and painless for the population of the country.
1996-2013. For 17 years, the hryvnia has experienced many tests, including two global financial crises. In 2013, the Ukrainian hryvnia was called the most beautiful currency in the world:
Top 5 Most Beautiful Money 2013:
- Ukrainian hryvnia
- Australian dollar
- Bulgarian lev
- American dollar.
However, in 2013, a revolution that turned the entire economy of Ukraine upside down began in Ukraine. Back in 2013, 1 dollar was about 8UAH, and euro was 11UAH; at the end of 2017, you can buy 1 dollar for 27UAH and 1 euro for 31UAH.
Payments on the territory of Ukraine shall be effected only in UAH.
Important advice for tourists about prices in Kiev in 2017-2018
Planning your budget for a vacation in Kiev, consider these points. You can rent accommodation in the city center via Airbnb for only $50 per day. Four-star hotels will cost from $100 to $250 per night. Five-star hotels in Kiev are 250-500 USD per night. The cost of apartment rent for a month in the city center starts from $500 per month.
You can move around the city both using public transport – 5 hryvnia (20 cents), and Uber. Uber prices are very acceptable even for the townspeople; one trip in the center of the city will cost no more than 50 UAH (2 dollars), but don’t forget it depends on weather conditions, traffic jams, day and time. Uber from Boryspil airport to the city center is usually 10-15 dollars. If you order a private transfer, the price is 25- 50 dollars, depending on the class of the car.
If you are going to eat, buying food in the store, the average check is about 10-15 dollars. A cup of take-away coffee costs $1, and in a cafe or restaurant, you will pay about $2.
In addition, it is possible to have inexpensive lunch in Puzata Khata, well-known Kiev network of dining rooms. For lunch of soup, salad, main course and drink, you will pay about $5.
Dinner with alcohol for two in a good elite restaurant will cost about 3000 UAH (111 dollars). Dinner in average restaurant for two is about 1500 UAH (56 dollars).
As many tourists from Western Europe, America and Canada mention, these prices are acceptable for them. In addition, many tourists note the diversity and high quality of service in Kiev restaurants. You can check the list of the best restaurants in Kiev here.
If you go to a bar or a nightclub in Kiev, you should have some cash with you; however, in all bars and nightclubs you pay with a card. So if you are going to party hard all night, do not take million dollars in your pockets.
The average price of a cocktail in good bars in Kiev is 160 UAH (5 dollars); in inexpensive, affordable bars this is up to 80 UAH (2.5 USD), however, the quality of alcohol will not be high.
The entrance fee to the nightclubs for men is $10, for women it is often free (in Caribbean Club and Coyote Ugly the entrance is paid for women, the cost depends on the day of the week).
Booking a table in nightclub CHI costs 12 thousand UAH (for six people); in Sky Bar nightclub, the price is from 5 to 12 thousand UAH (depending on the number of people).
To book a Bar Crawl with Kiev local, check this page.
Thus, you can make your budget for your trip to Kiev. By the way, in 2017 the officially established average salary in Kiev is $400 per month.
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